Thursday, March 12
Dearest Members and Friends of Chalice,
The rapid spread of the coronavirus worldwide is calling us to take immediate measures to keep our community safe and healthy. As of today, Ventura County has declared a local health emergency. The UUA and Ventura County are recommending that we implement social distancing to keep people safe, especially caring for our elders and those who are immunocompromised. In this way we can practice ethical leadership that prioritizes caring for the most vulnerable. For these reasons, our leadership has decided that from this Sunday on, we will neither be conducting in-person worship or holding meetings at Chalice. Please be assured, this decision was not taken lightly, but we made this call, because we care about each and every one of you.
However, we are NOT cancelling church. Our services will move online. We know it can be frightening and disorienting to feel cut off from the community you love so much, but please be assured that modern technology thankfully allows us to stay closely connected during these unusual times. We will be inviting you to connect with Chalice in some new ways. Some planned events will be reimagined as online gatherings, some will be postponed, and some suspended until the outbreak subsides. We will continue meeting virtually through at least the end of this month. At that time, we will reassess the situation. Meanwhile, while we stay apart, we want to stay connected!
Each week we will notify you if we are having the service on Facebook live-streaming or on Zoom. There will be a link to access the service on our website. If we are having the service on Facebook live, you can open Facebook at the time of the service (10 am) and browse to the Chalice page (listed below) where you will see the video. If we are having a Zoom meeting, don’t worry, we will send you a link by email so you can sign in and view the service from your computer, phone or tablet. Also, please read our weekly News & Notes for other updates. Our continued connection is critical at this time and we plan to use multiple means to do that.
Here are some logistics:
Facebook live-streaming is like watching a broadcast of our service. You will be able to type messages but others will not be able to see your video or hear your comments.
You don’t need a Facebook account to join the live-stream, but if you’d like to comment or participate more fully, please sign up with Facebook so you can stay connected to your Chalice family.
We encourage you to “like” and view our Chalice Facebook page daily – https://www.facebook.com/
For conversation, please join our member’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/
In addition to viewing our services, there will be chances to connect, with regular updates and messages there.
How to use Facebook for beginners, seniors and boomers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
This Sunday, March 15, we will Facebook Livestream our service from the Sanctuary at 10 am. Only the people needed to conduct the service will be there. Everyone else can watch from the safety of their home. If you miss the service for some reason, you can always watch it later on Facebook, YouTube, Podcast or through our website at ChaliceUU.org.
If you know of friends who are unfamiliar with Facebook or Zoom, now would be a good time to coach them in how to use it. For those among us who do not use technology at all, we will need to stay in touch by phone and watch out for one another. Please let us know if you know people who can only connect by phone. We want to be able to stay connected to them too.
Meanwhile, if you have urgent pastoral care needs, you may call, text or email Rev Nica at firstname.lastname@example.org or on her cell: (805) 410-3860. She can meet with you by phone or Facetime/Skype video. For general pastoral concerns, please contact our pastoral care team by emailing email@example.com. Please let us know how you are doing! Don’t hesitate to reach out. We care about you and want to hear from you. For needs which could be met by your neighborhood network group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Nica is also planning to hold Zoom/phone office hours for pastoral needs and staying connected. Watch Facebook for those announcements. Meanwhile, our Chalice Circles, Committee meetings, classes, women’s and men’s groups can continue to meet by Zoom should they choose. Group leaders, if you would like to schedule your group by Zoom, please be in touch with Jake Holland (email@example.com) or Rev. Nica for details on how to do that. We will be sending links to all participants, so you can join in with ease.
We are also planning Children’s Chapels via Zoom, as well as parent gatherings. Our DRE Sam will be in touch about those plans. Please let us know what you need to stay connected and form new friendships and we will do our best to support that.
For regular updates on what is going on in Ventura County, please check www.vcemergency.com
Our staff and lay leaders will be working harder than ever to adapt and respond to this evolving situation, and you will hear from us regularly throughout this crisis.
Beloveds: these are unprecedented times, but we will get through this together as a community. We are so blessed to be connected to one another during a time when many might feel extremely isolated and scared. We have shown ourselves to be resilient, courageous and creative in the past as a community, and we can continue to do that. Please know that the Chalice community is here for you. If you have any questions or concerns about how this will affect you or our community, please contact Board President, Tom Wolf (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rev Nica.
In faith, love and care,
Reverend Nica & the Board of Trustees